It’s been raining cats and dogs since last night, and it’s very dark and gloomy outside. Not exactly the kind weather that makes you want to go outside and work. I dreamed of being somewhere near the ocean last night, and have been pining to stand with my feet in the water there. I received a most beautiful letter from my middle sister (me being the oldest) that I was reunited with this summer, and being on an island she lives not far from some beautiful beaches. I might just have to make a road trip soon. Then again, maybe I should wait until at least spring comes around again.
Thomas and Katniss, the two kittens, are tearing it up in our little RV, but don’t want to let them outside because every time they come back in they track a bunch of mud in with them. And they don’t like it when I grab them and wipe their feet off. They, along with Zoey, the year and a half old Manx, have been running amok outside on all the roofs lately, unfortunately poking holes with their razor sharp claws into all the tarps covering our roofs out there. As luck wouldn’t have it, it leaked right onto the new generator last night, and the hay barn now has tiny little holes in the tarps covering it. I swear, it’s a communist plot. At least we’re not being over run with mice.
I got in a good long walk yesterday, a beautiful sunny day, with all the goaties (except the bucks) and even the two kittens accompanied us all the way up the road. The goats seemed more interested in butting heads and asserting their dominance than eating, surprisingly enough. I’m still trying to figure out a way to breed the last two does with Raven, and maybe one or two others that should have been bred, but acted like they were in heat yesterday. I did not enjoy his escape antics, so will have to figure out something.
And, I have had it confirmed that there is indeed a bit of a hay shortage this year. Due to funky weather conditions, some of the farmers only got in two cuttings, and quite a bit of it is being bought up and taken to other parts of the country. The guy I’ve been getting hay from didn’t even respond when I tried to get ahold of him several times, so we ended up getting some from farther away that wasn’t as good. Not a good scenario with extra goats this winter. Sometimes I think I need my head examined. Even though my intentions are good, sometimes they are not very practical at all.
It makes me think of farmers all over the country who are struggling with corporate farming squeezing them out of business, and how devastating it can be having even just one season of crop failure, let alone continuous drought conditions, fires or flooding, and violent storms wreaking havoc. Small independent farmers are so important, and yet grossly under appreciated. In order to maintain my health, and that of our animals, I have had to switch to mostly organic grains to get away from GMO’s and glyphosate, which would not be available were it not for a handful of farmers who go out of their way to provide alternatives. I recently switched to a completely grain free dog food, and low and behold, our dog Misha is having less of a problem with her recurring diarrhea issue. It seems they are making good on their goal of reducing population, no matter how it is accomplished. Of course, being the pragmatic bunch that they are, they take a multi faceted approach that can be hard to get away from.
I have been watching some videos that go into the tactics used in many of the wars fought stretching quite a ways back in time, and starvation and tainting the food supply are commonly used. I really don’t know what it’s going to take to get people to wake up and realize just letting a bunch of embedded politicians that are all related and in bed with international corporate interests who have no loyalty to any nation, except maybe ****** (you know, the name we cannot mention), is not a good idea, and is taking us all down a very perilous slope. I try not to worry about any of it, as it generally doesn’t do any good, and just redouble my commitment to growing and storing as much of our food as possible, along with getting to know others on a local level that are doing the same.
I know after two years of continuous dialogue here, some of what I write is repetitive in nature. Unfortunately farm life is a bit redundant in some ways. Year after year it’s all about getting in firewood, making repairs in shelters and fencing, the constant search for hay, and continuously building up the soil. I’ve read a few articles about how many are not getting enough minerals and nutrients from the food they eat, because there is simply not enough in the soil anymore. If I don’t supplement selenium for the goats, for instance, they start loosing their fur and can have trouble conceiving and have birthing problems. On the plus side, there are some very innovative techniques being developed by small individual gardeners and farmers, and they are sharing freely with one another. I have found there is always more to learn, and I’m excited to try out some new ideas next year.
I’m going to look around and try to find a local bee keeper that will just let me tag along so I can learn what I need to know to get started there. That’s one of my biggest goals, for numerous reasons. I’ve been reading Bees by Rudolf Steiner, and I am fascinated by the way nature works. If people could only be as smart as nature! There are some passionate people though, who keep finding ways to overcome any problem, and often the answer lies in observing the way nature works in a symbiotic harmony. I have to put my attention somewhere, and focusing on the outer drama created to distract us from what is truly a life affirming engagement with the amazing intelligence of this planet is just not where it’s at for me. Nature = nurture, for self and all life.
I really do need to get going, but admit I’m dragging my feet today. One of the primary jobs we have on our list for today is cleaning the composting toilet. Since it’s cold, wet, and intermittently rainy, I’m not excited. But it must be done. And, the goats all want to be fed. I will leave you with a picture of Uma and Karuna, two partners in crime. They can still squeeze through the fence and are probably two of the cutest and friendliest baby goats we’ve had yet. It’s one of the small pleasures that make all the hard work worthwhile. At least I do love where I am.
Oh yeah, and Steven, thanks for the tips about gophers! I got a kick out of reading your suggestions. I’m thinking, since I’m not into blowing things up, and drowning them probably wouldn’t work as you said, that I’m going to put some hopefully gopher proof cages in the holes and up around on top so they can’t dig in. I’ll have to work it out somehow, as fruit trees are definitely on the list. They are, indeed, the BAIN OF US ALL! At least, gardeners anyway.